Downtown in Baltimore, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Enoch Pratt Free Library
The original building fronted on Mulberry Street. Designed by the Baltimore architect Charles Carson, it opened in 1886. By the late 1820's, the patrons and volumes had outgrown the building. The present structure, completed in 1933, represented a major departure from the tradition of building libraries with monumental entrances atop long, intimidating flights of stairs. The building was designed by Clyde and Nelson Fritz with consulting architects E.L. Tilton and A.M. Githens under the supervision of the Library Director Joseph Wheeler. Wheeler envisioned the library as a publicly owned "department store business" in which taxpayers invested money and from which they expected a return. To make the library approachable and inviting, the building was designed with a street-level entrance and twelve display windows with exhibits the passing public can see at a glance.
The design of the Pratt has been borrowed extensively in this country and abroad.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, Music • Charity & Public Work • Education. In addition, it is included in the Maryland, Baltimore City historical markers series list.
Location. 39° 17.667′ N, 76° 37.02′ W. Marker is in Downtown in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is at the intersection of Cathedral Street and West Mulberry Street (U.S. 40), on the right when traveling south on Cathedral Street. The marker is just to the left of the main entrance to the library. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Creating an American Culture: The Golden Age of Baltimore (within shouting distance of this marker); Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (within shouting distance of this marker); Expanding the American Intellect: Icons and Iconoclasts (within shouting distance of this marker); James Cardinal Gibbons Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); John H. B. Latrobe House (within shouting distance of this marker); Pope John Paul II Monument George Washington Bicentennial Marker (about 400 feet away); First Unitarian Church (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Downtown.
More about this marker. A photograph on the marker displays the, "Original building by Charles Carson. Enoch Pratt also built six branch libraries modeled on this design."
In 2008, this marker replaced one with almost identical text.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 17, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 20, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,860 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on April 16, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 20, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. 5. submitted on August 8, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.